Photo Credit: Danny Gershoni via Wikimedia
Protest against AG in Petach Tikvah

The High Court of Justice on Sunday ruled in favor of the organizers of demonstration in Petach Tikva and stated that the number of participants in demonstrations in Goren Square in the city may not be limited.

The court ruled that it is permissible to continue to demonstrate at Goren Square in Petach Tikva, which is adjacent to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s home, without obtaining a permit from the police, and without limits on the number of participants in said demonstrations.

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Designated Supreme Court President, Justice Esther Hayut, rejected the criticism of the very idea of demonstrating against the Attorney General. “Criticism of state authorities and public figures is the lifeblood of democracy, and no authority or public figure in a democratic state are immune to criticism.”

The petition was filed by the Movement for Quality in Government and some of the organizers of the demonstrations in Petach Tikva, including the former house manager at the Prime Minister’s Residence, Meni Naftali.

Hayat criticized Naftali and other organizers who on August 19 defied a decision of police and the court against a demonstration, nothing that their conduct was “extremely problematic.” According to Hayut, “this conduct, while the petition was pending, could have led to the dismissal of the petition out of hand,” if not been for the Movement for Quality in Government “which chose to act differently,” calling on demonstrators to respect the process and the temporary decision.

The protests outside the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in Petach Tikva have taken almost every Saturday night starting in November 2016. The protesters accuse Mandelblit of delaying the filing of an indictment in criminal cases involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife, Sara, and government officials. Some demonstrators are demanding that Mandelblit be replaced if he fails to lead to Netanyahu’s conviction.

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